Last month we held the 5th annual Icehouse Ventures First Cut Challenge - our nationwide search for New Zealand’s most promising young founders.
To celebrate the occasion, we asked the incredible New Zealand-based artist, Julia Murray, to illustrate some of the young founders we’ve already backed.
These people all exemplify a quality that we seek in our founders: bravery. Bravery to tackle the challenges that others believe to be too hard, and keep going when those challenges become harder still. As a result, these young founders are not just changing New Zealand, but the rest of the world too.
In no particular order, here are those brave young founders:
1. Emily Blythe - Pyper Vision
2. Craig Piggott - Halter
3. Sonya Williams and Brooke Roberts - Sharesies
Sonya Williams and Brooke Roberts are the cofounders and co-CEOs of Sharesies, an investment platform that gives Kiwis and Australians the same access to investment opportunities regardless of whether they have $5 of $500,000.
4. Michael Prendergast and Ben Reynolds - Spalk
5. James Powell and Stefan Powell - Dawn Aerospace
7. Brianne West - Ethique
Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique, a beauty brand that has saved over 12 million plastic bottles from being made or disposed of in landfills, by developing plastic-free hair and body wash alternatives.
11. Will Hewitt - HeartLab
12. Anvil Banez and Kimberly Banez - Dennisson Technologies
13. Evan Jia, Levi Fawcett, Nathan Taylor and Mark Song - Partly
14. Tim Hawkey - EnergyBank
15. Steffan Levet and James Broadbent - Narrative
With over 100 entries to the First Cut Challenge it wasn't an easy task selecting somebody to join this lineup of brave young founders. However, after much deliberation (and DD) we chose Michael Max and his startup, Passingdoor.
16. Michael Max - Passingdoor
Passingdoor is a real estate matching platform that enables Kiwis to find their best homes, without the burden of "going on the market".
Since launching the platform in April, Passingdoor has achieved 300% month on month growth, and now has $200m of off-market properties on the platform.
Icehouse Ventures exists to back brave founders who harness boundless ambition, and this is exactly what Michael demonstrates.
Congratulations Michael! We're excited to be part of this journey.